Android surges ahead of Apple on Ireland's phones
Ireland is becoming an Android-using country, according to new figures.
And 55pc of Irish phones now use the Android operating system compared to 41pc using Apple's iOS, a big turnaround in the battle of the phone ecosystems.
A year ago, Apple's iOS led Android with 48pc of the market compared to Google's 46pc.
The figures, compiled by Dublin-based Statcounter, show Android's lead over its main rival increasing.
Analysts say that this is down to the rise in Android phones' minimum quality and capabilities, which has led to greater use of the devices, even for budget models used by late adopters.
However, the emerging Android dominance in usage stands apart from the profitability of the competing ecosystems, with Apple making twice as much money from its iPhones as all other manufacturers combined.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone system continues to struggle, stuck at 3pc of phone usage in Ireland and falling in market share over the last 12 months.
Android's rise is also affecting web browser penetration in Ireland, too. Last month, Google's Chrome overtook Safari as the most used mobile browser for Irish phone owners.
Figures from Statcounter show that Chrome has risen from 27pc to 44pc of phone browser usage in Ireland over the last 12 months. In the same period, Apple's share has fallen from 46pc to 40pc.
But Apple remains the biggest individual phone brand in the Irish market, with 41pc of people using its devices. The next most popular brand is Samsung with 31pc, followed by Sony on 8pc and HTC on 6pc. Nokia's brand has plummeted, with the Statcounter figures indicated its usage at 3pc in Ireland, pegged at the same level as newcomer Huawei. Motorola is used by 2pc of smartphone users here.
Apple continues to dominate the tablet market in Ireland, with its usage almost unchanged in the last 12 months at 74pc of the Irish market.
Android, by comparison, commands just 23pc.
Meanwhile, phone users' social media links and traffic is increasingly dominated by Facebook. According to Statcounter, Facebook accounts for 92pc of phone users' social media traffic, up from 69pc a year ago.
Twitter's share of Irish mobile social media traffic has collapsed from 18pc a year ago to just 4pc today.
The figures reflect web traffic from smartphones that interacts with social media services, as opposed to use of a social media app itself. This metric is important for companies trying to understand where traffic to their websites or etailing offers is coming from within the social media demesne.
Statcounter's Irish sample is 7.2m web pages from mobile devices. In terms of search engines on smartphones, 96pc of Irish phones use Google, with 3pc using Yahoo. Just 1pc use Bing, despite its installation on Nokia and Microsoft phones.